Employer EIN Number-Do you need one?

Are you looking to open a new business? Do you know if you need an EIN number?

Whether you or your company needs an EIN depends on a number of factors. Such as, if you intend to have employees now or later, type of business structure, and certain taxes filed (i.e. Employment, Excise or Tobacco).

Click here to review the IRS guidelines of an EIN number.

Video provided by the IRS Youtube station

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Tax Scam Phone Calls

Today, a client phoned me in tears, shaken, and terrified after a call they received from someone claiming to be with the IRS.  The “IRS” representative advised my client the cops were on their way to arrest them for not paying their taxes.  In addition, they needed to go to the bank, and obtain a cashier’s check for $7,000.00 for back taxes they owed. 

According to the IRS, “in recent years, thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and personal information to tax scams and fake IRS communications (IRS.GOV).”

What can you do to protect yourself?  Simple, the IRS will not call and demand payment without sending a letter first.  In addition, the IRS will not email, text or correspond with you via social media.  Your first response….hang up the phone, and DO NOT provide or confirm personal information with the caller.

Second, contact TIGTA to report the call.  You may use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page or you can also call 800-366-4484. In addition, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on FTC.gov. In the notes, add “IRS Telephone Scam”. 

Finally, if you’re not a 100% sure if you owe or not, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.

Click the link here  which will direct you to “IRS Urges Public to Stay Alert for Scam Phone Calls” information page.  Here, you’ll find a guide of IRS scams used, along with helpful information on what you can do.  

Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts: https://www.irs.gov/uac/tax-scams-consumer-alerts

 

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Bitcoin Scams on Social Media: The Dark Side of Digital Currency | ZeroFOX

Earlier this month, the price of a single Bitcoin eclipsed the price of an ounce of gold for the first time ever. This news, coupled with the exploding adoption of its underlying technology – blockchain – beyond the financial world, is attracting a new flock of clientele, investors and entrepreneurs to the fledgling cryptocurrency. However, …

Source: Bitcoin Scams on Social Media: The Dark Side of Digital Currency | ZeroFOX

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Do You Understand Money and Finances

Ask yourself, do you understand money and finances?  Did you know there are over 400 terms used in the Accounting/Bookkeeping field?  If you answered no to either of the questions, you are not alone.     

In 2014, The Atlantic Daily published an article called “Most People in the World Have No Idea How to Manage Their Money”, only 30% of American’s could pass a simple three question finance survey (click here to take their survey).   

Does this surprise me? No.  Accounting can be intimidating.  Many people feel they are bad at math and can’t do it.  I beg to differ. To me, it is a matter of helping a person better understand the accounting language.

Today, I’d like to share four accounting definitions and examples of assets, expenses, liabilities, and revenues.  In addition, provide the accounts normal balance and how to properly adjust the account balance.      

Definitions:

  • Asset: Resource(s) that have monetary value.
    • Examples of assets are: Cash, inventory, property & equipment.
  • Expense: An expense for a company or freelancers operating activities during a specified accounting period.
    • Examples of expenses: Utilities, professional fees, and auto expenses.
  • Liability: An amount owed by a person or company to another person or company, and typically has the word “payable” in the account title.
    • Examples of liabilities are: Accounts payable, payroll taxes payable, and sales tax payable
  • Revenue: Revenues are amounts a company or freelancer earns from selling goods or providing services to clients.
    • Examples of revenue are: Sales or service, interest income, and fees earned.

Account balances:

Accounting

 

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State Unemployment Insurance Taxable Wage Base 2017

State unemployment insurance taxes are based on a percentage of the taxable wages an employer pays.  It is anticipated Michigan will release their wage base in March.

Alabama $8,000 Nevada 29,500
Alaska 39,800 New Hampshire 14,000
Arizona 7,000 New Jersey 33,500
Arkansas 12,000 New Mexico 24,300
California 7,000 New York 10,900
California Employee SDI 11,902 North Carolina 23,100
Colorado 12,500 North Dakota 35,100
Connecticut 15,000 Ohio 9,000
Delaware 18,500 Oklahoma 17,700
District of Columbia 9,000 Oregon 38,400
Florida 7,000 Pennsylvania-Employers 9,750
Georgia 9,500 Pennsylvania-Employees Unlimited
Hawaii
Hawaii Employee SDI (max: $5.12/day)
44,000
1,023.31
Puerto Rico 7,000
Idaho 37,800 Rhode Island-Tier 1 22,400
Illinois 12,960 Rhode Island-Tier 2 23,900
Indiana 9,500 Rhode Island-Employee SDI 66,300
Iowa 29,300 South Carolina 14,000
Kansas 14,000 South Dakota 15,000
Kentucky 10,200 Tennessee *8000 Not Official
Louisiana 7,700 Texas 9,000
Maine 12,000 Utah 33,100
Maryland 8,500 Vermont 17,300
Massachusetts 15,000 Virgin Islands 23,500
Michigan *9,500 Official number to be announced in March. Virginia 8,000
Minnesota 32,000 Washington 45,000
Mississippi 14,000 West Virginia 12,000
Missouri 13,000 Wisconsin 14,000
Montana 31,400 Wyoming 25,400
Nebraska 9,000
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Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Why Do People Commit “Pseudocide”?

Mark Blangger (Certified Fraud Examiner) wrote an interesting article about why and how people fake their own death (link below).  The article sheds light on the financial gain/reasons a person would fake their own death.  The stories are intriguing and I hope you enjoy this article as much as I have.

Source: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t: Why Do People Commit “Pseudocide”?

faking-own-death-landing-page

 

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SEPTEMBER JOBS REPORT ADDS 156,000 JOBS

The Latest From the BLS Employment Report: 156,000 Jobs Added in September The US economy added 156,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate unexpectedly edged higher, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate, which has held at 4.9 percent since the spring, inched up to 5 percent as the labor participation rate inched up. The unexpected slowing of growth for US employment – for the third straight month – could make the Federal Reserve more cautious about raising interest rates. This month’s employment report will be pivotal because it is among the most significant economic data the Federal Reserve reviews before deciding whether to raise interest rates. While the Fed is looking at a variety of indicators to guide their decision on whether or not to raise the interest rate, this jobs report will have one of the heaviest influences. It seems that traders assign a 60% chance of a lift in the rate in December. Friday’s employment report will be the last before the Fed’s Nov. 1-2 policy meeting but some say a decision might be delayed until after the November 8th presidential election. Economists’ predictions Economists predicted 175,000�%A

Source: SEPTEMBER JOBS REPORT ADDS 156,000 JOBS

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Subject matter missing from your college class?

I am new to blogging, and honestly, I find it scary. What to write, who will read my posts, are they good enough?  Then it hit me…be myself and discussions will follow. Here it goes…

Before pursuing an accounting degree, I really wanted to be a homicide detective. I know, you’re asking yourself…. how does a person go from wanting to be a homicide detective to an accountant…right?  Life decided for me. Mom worked as an accountant, and I spent a lot of time helping her with billing, monthly statements, and daily accounting functions.  It was interesting to me, and made the career change. 

While attending college, I noticed none of my accounting classes covered the day to day operations of accounting, such as applying accounts receivable, details of accounts payable entry or how to complete a W-4, I-9, or W-9. All functions and forms every bookkeeper & accountant need to know.  Thankfully, my mother was my mentor AND I had several years of accounting under my belt before attending college. 

For those of you in college, is there a subject matter you noticed was not covered in any of your classes that should have been? If so, did you do anything to address this with the university? 

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Tax tip-Credit Card Statements

Did you know credit card statements will not suffice for business tax deductions? Why?  A credit card statement does not provide enough detail of what was purchased or indicate whether an item was for business or personal use. Ensure to keep detailed receipts attached to all reconciled credit card statements.

 Click here to find out what type of records you should keep. 

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Delinquent Employment Taxes

The IRS is taking steps to collect from the delinquent taxpayers by implementing new programs.  First of these programs is called the “903 Letter”.  The letter is sent to a delinquent taxpayer for each quarter employment taxes are not paid, which demonstrates the knowledge of unpaid taxes, which could be used in criminal proceedings later.    

Many taxpayers use the EFTPS system to file their taxes.  The IRS is programming the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System to notify them when an employer misses an employment tax payment within 48 to 72 hours.  This will assist the IRS reaching out to a delinquent taxpayer faster. The IRS is working towards a classification system to help them identify the best way reach out to the delinquent taxpayer to help get them back in compliance.    

Click here to learn more about the “903 Letter” and the collection process.  

The best business practice is to pay employee & employer taxes on time and in full.  This will help avoid late fees and penalties to your business.

Click here to learn more about IRS penalties for late payroll tax payment.  

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